NEUROSCIENTIST, musician and author Alan Harvey is giving a talk next Tuesday, October 24, on how music affects the brain at the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre.
As a neuroscience emeritus professor at the University of Western Australia, Alan Harvey combined his love for music with his fascination of how the mind works to publish his book ‘Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls’ back in 2017.
In the same year he gave a TEDx talk on the book which has since been viewed almost half a million times.
Professor Harvey said the talk next week will include discussion on what music can bring to people in terms of mental and physical health therapy.
Organised by the Kalamunda Rotary club, all proceeds from the ticketed event will go towards funding the music programs for Kalamunda and Lesmurdie senior high schools.
At Lesmurdie SHS the money will be going towards a renewal of the portable sound system to be used for Anzac Day ceremonies, whole school assemblies and presentations where music plays an integral part in the celebrations of the community.
For the Kalamunda SHS music program, any proceeds from Professor Harvey’s talk will be used for acquiring more music equipment and instruments for the students.
Professor Harvey has given similar talks in schools and said there has been a recent push to reframe how people in education view music.
“It has long term benefits and if you want to educate children, you really want to educate them in things that are going to have a long-term benefit in a whole range of cognitive and emotional capabilities, and music can do that.”
Professor Harvey said specifically in instrumentalists who play with both hands, such as piano and violin, there’s vastly increased connectivity between the left and right side of the brain.
“Music is an incredibly strong driver of brain plasticity, so it enhances various aspects of memory, motor coordination, hearing and so on.”
He said it is well documented that music changes the connectivity of the brain but what is not clear is how much training you need.
“Having this enhanced musical connectivity that is driven through training allows us to find alternative routes to gain and access information. It acts like a buffer in terms of helping to slow both mental decline and also to maintain hearing as we get older as well,” he said.
Tickets can be found online at https://kpac48.sales.ticketsearch.com/sales/salesevent/114199